(May 30,2010)-HOLLYWOOD -- The Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood area bike unit is the subject of an internal investigation after video surfaced of their response to a protest ride against British Petroleum organized by a group of bicyclists.
In the video, at least one bicyclist is detained, and an officer can be seen kicking a passing bicycle. The cyclist taking the video objects to the action, and two officers take him down, ordering him simultaneously to "get down" and "get up."
A man can be heard repeatedly asking, "What did I do?"
Now, representatives of the L.A. biking community have filed an excessive force complaint against the officers.
LAPD Investigates Scuffle with Bicyclists Captured on Video
The LAPD has issued a statement that reads in part:
"As part of enforcement efforts, LAPD officers were watching for red light violations, and issuing citations. As officers attempted to detain several bicyclists, a reported use of force was captured on video."
The LAPD has launched an investigation to "determine the facts surrounding the events," according to LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger.
The LAPD's Professional Standard's Bureau is heading the inquiry,and the Police Commission's Inspector General has also been notified about the matter.
"Our Department takes seriously its obligations and commitment to all members of the community," Paysinger said. "The Chief of police and I pledged our strong support to work closely with the bike community, and that promise has not wavered. It's our hope that the relationship we've developed with the biking community over the past months will be strengthened even more as we continue to work together to find solutions to difficult circumstances such as these."
The Los Angeles Police Protective League issued it's own statement, saying, "We only ask that the community refrain from a rush to judgment. It is always important to remember that home video, shot from a distance, from one angle and in the dark, and not at the beginning of the incident, seldom tells the whole story."
KTLA-TV, Los Angeles
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